July 5, 2017

Three Quick Looks 7.5.2017



A people’s history of Chicago
Coval’s poems here both pay homage to and extend the work of Zinn.
Though there are poems honoring more well-known historical bits of the city, several of the later poems become more person centered on people you’ve never heard of. It is the voice of the people of the city – more akin to oral history like Studs than Howard.

Imagine wanting only this
The fire isn’t
Only found in Peshtigo
It is everywhere

The best we could do
Go to encounter
Other challenges than you
And hatred will die

June 29, 2017

Walks Through the Grass: On Our 9th Anniversary



A single foot disturbs the grass blades.
Rain comes and is replaced by the sun;
The blades spring back, forgetting their disruption.

The rain and the sun will come again.
The birds above and the worms below
Will never see that the blades were trod upon.

More steps. More Steps. More Steps.
The blades doesn’t bounce back
The rain still falls. The sun still shines.

The blades become the dirt.
The root dies. New rain
Only makes mud. Sun dries it to hard-pack.

But this story is not about the blade.
It is the foot and the walker
Going through the grass in the sun.

Making a path where the grass
Once grew. Making a path that grows
Ever deeper with each pass.

Every year as I walk to your embrace
Deep in your arms, that path grows deeper
As does my love for you.

May 12, 2017

Frank Fartmouth: A webcomic

My wife and I have been throwing around ideas for a webcomic, and we really like the idea of Frank Fartmouth. We've done some character development, but we want to see him grow as a person through art. Below is our first strip.

Yeah, the one in New England

May 3, 2017

Someone Help me put on this Redshirt: On Scalzi



I really liked reading this book.

I had read an earlier book by Scalzi, one of his first ones, and it was really close to another book that was a classic of the genre, so I was worried about someone being the kind of guy who was happy being successful as a derivative author.

But this book is derivative in a good way. It takes the Star Trek tradition of killing a minor character and both plays it for laughs and as an introspective look at the genre itself. It would be hard here to get into too much detail here and not give it away, but if you like the work of Vonnegut and Calvino, you’d be at home here.

The last third is a bit much though, since it takes the trope, turns it inside out, and looks at its desiccated corpse. What was once clever becomes sign-posted. 

It’s really good, just stop at page 230.